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We’re thrilled to be nominated for the Historic Houses Garden of the Year 2019, and would love to get your vote. It’s very much a team effort and winning would be wonderful recognition for all the helping hands that play their part behind-the-scenes. If you haven’t done so already, it’s a quick click on the link below and please do help us spread the word as every single vote matters.

Cast your Vote for Garden of the Year 2019


Why should Forde Abbey be crowned the Historic Houses Garden of the Year 2019?

Top Ten reasons why we hope to get your vote:


Number One

It is one of the oldest gardens in the country, starting life some 900 years ago. Originally the source for fish in the monk’s diet and a means to grind the flour for bread, the sound of running water is still very much the beating heart of the garden’s design.
Find out more.  


Number Two

With head gardener Joshua Sparkes wielding the trowel, the garden is embracing a new way of working, with sustainability and the environment very much part of its thinking.
Find out more.  


Number Three

An Asian woodland and Prairie Garden are just a few of the new designs turning the page on the next chapter of the garden.
Find out more.  


Number Four

Forde Abbey is home to old English Dorset meadowlands, untouched and left to proliferate over 100s of years. It’s why in Spring and Summer, you’ll see green-winged orchids and vine old beetles, a bio diverse habitat teeming with life.
Find out more.  


Number Five

Towering over the garden at a height of 160 foot is The Centenary Fountain, the highest powered fountain in England. (With a rainbow never far behind).
Fountain times, and to find out more.  


Number Six

In April and May the garden is a Spring catwalk of colour with a bulb meadow featuring over 30,000 tulips in the mix.
Find out more.  


Number Seven

‘The Spiral’ or ‘The Swirl,’ as it has become known, is an ever colourful wander from Spring right the way through until the first frosts in October. Lined with tulips and later in the year, wild flowers, it is a floriferous-filled meander spanning the seasons.
Find out more.  


Number Eight

The main bones of the garden can be traced right back to the monks, which makes it not just a beautiful wander through the seasons, but a fascinating record of another chapter in history. The ‘amphitheatre’ design of the main lawn harks back to the foundations of the original footprint of the Abbey and where it started life.
Find out more.  


Number Nine

From 1141 to the present day, Forde Abbey is a stunning example of history preserved but not petrified. Alice and Julian Kennard have inherited a garden rich in history but are keen to live and work in an informal style, and you’ll often find Alice in the garden tackling the latest project in hand, and Julian at the wheel of a tractor.  


Number Ten

There are many many ‘favourites’ throughout the year, from the snowdrop carpet in February, the mighty magnolias in March, the crocus lawn and pathways lined with daffodils, the swathes of tulips followed by the meadow pastures, the sleeping giant of a wisteria and a painterly palette of dahlias bursting onto the scene during the Summer months, before the wild flowers get going and the the arboretum takes a flamboyant bow in Autumn.
A seasonal diary in photos.  


Just ten reasons why we hope to get your vote to become the Historic Houses Garden of the Year 2019.    

Historic Houses